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    • Maybe this is something California could try. These wildfires just seem to keep coming to California. can act as a delivery medium to coat vegetation with flame retardant, and keep it there for the whole fire season. If adopted widely (Appel has founded a startup to commercialize it) the gel could become a sort of vaccine against wildfires, applied around the roads and utility infrastructure where 84 percent of California’s 300,000 fires in the last decade have ignited.

      That is a pretty high percentage of fires to be ignited. Thinking of the cost of lives and property, seems like it could be something at least to try. Especially since it is environmentally safe and lasts through fire season.

      What you end up with is a vaccine for the contagion that is wildfire, which spreads from shrub to shrub, tree to tree, home to home. And like with any contagion, the strategy shouldn’t be to run around frantically once the plague hits, but to vaccinate against it with a gel like this, as well as clearing brush around every house in a mountain town.

      California, it might just be time for your fire shot.

    • This is very interesting. One can buy the flame retardant over the counter and apply it themselves already. But like the article states, it is only temporary, so it has to be done just before a fire.

      Generally, I like technology and it's solutions, but as a person who has lived in fire prone areas his entire life (first, the Topanga and Malibu areas, and now Sonoma County) I feel that our approach to wildfire continues to lean toward relying on technology rather than looking at why we are having the problem in the first place. And that would be:

      1. We do not manage the fuels they way they should be managed. Fire has always been a part of the western landscape and for over 100 years we put each and every one of them out as quickly as possible.

      2. We do not manage the fuels that are created by interfering with the natural cycles of fire. If we choose to prevent the fuels that would burn off in a fire from burning, then we must remove them ourselves. WE DON'T.

      3. We continue to build more of our cities and towns in areas that are naturally fire-prone and have historically burnt time and time again and then expect them to not burn. Sorry, but lets put the facts on the table.

      4. We can blame climate change, and it may be a small percentage of what's going on, but human behavior and the resistance to do what we need to do because of inconvenience is the primary cause of our urban interface fire problems.

      I wrote a great thesis about it in 1992 (if I do say so myself). It's amazing how nobody learns from history.